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RE: housing together

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Posted by: PHLdyPayne at Sat Dec 18 10:07:07 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by PHLdyPayne ]  
   

Bearded dragons can be kept together but there is always a risk of aggression from one or all participants. Cage size also plays a part as well. Multiple dragons should be housed in large cages, at least 5'x2' of floor space for two adults...with about 2 square feet per additional dragon. Males shouldn't be housed together...as they have a much higher likelihood of attacking each other once they reach sexual maturity.

There are some people who do have multiple dragons housed together, usually females or a breeding group of one male and one or more females, which do get along. However individual dragons can and do turn on each other unexpectedly and can cause serious injuries. Some dragons don't like each other from the get go and putting them into a cage together only results in either one very stressed out dragon or constant fights leaving one or both with nasty bites, even dismemberment.

When you do have two or more dragons who are compatible and neither dominates the other to the point one can't eat or bask properly, then keeping them together is fine. I don't recommend to novice keepers to house them together. It should be done by people who have kept dragons for awhile and are very observant and understand dragon behavior, so they can recognize problems before it escalates. Also, they do need to have separate housing available suitable for all dragons, just in case they have to be housed separately. Even mating groups may need to have the male separated to give the female(s) a break.

Key things to keep in mind when housing multiple dragons is cage size, multiple basking areas or very wide basking platforms where more than one dragon can bask at the temps they require. Multiple feeding dishes or feeding the dragons separately, will ensure all get to eat their fill. Multiple hides are also beneficial so there isn't any need to compete for prime basking spots, feeding areas or cool areas.

Dragons aren't particularly social and normally have solitary lives. During mating season they do come together to breed and of course have associated behaviors for interacting with other males and females. But once mating season is over, males and females go their separate ways. In the wild it is possible several females may reside in a given male's territory..but interactions are probably very limited till mating season. I don't know much about their wild behavior...I haven't come across any write ups of long term observation/study of bearded dragons in the wild. But I have heard any indication they are social reptiles and prefer to stick together in groups, other than living in the same habitat. A good source of food may draw several adult bearded dragons to that area...but they are gathering to eat a plentiful source of food..not because they want to get together with others of their kind. Most likely if hte food was scarce, the biggest, more dominant dragon will chase off all other dragons inorder to keep the food to himself.

Females can also be very territorial and dominate as well, so even housing females together can cause dominate issues.
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PHLdyPayne

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